Logitech Harmony 880
Manufacturer: Logitech Part number: 966187-0403
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as of 12/19/2013
CNET editors' review
price range: $299.00
- Reviewed by: David Carnoy
- Edited by: John Falcone
- Reviewed on: 05/02/2005
- Released on: 05/15/2005
The good: Web-programmable, universal learning remote; activity-based programming and usage; DVR-friendly button layout; backlit keys and color LCD; compatible with Windows and Macintosh machines; rechargeable battery and docking station included.
The bad: No RF support; Web interface may frustrate some users.
The bottom line: Designing its first universal remote, Logitech takes a nice step forward with the Harmony 880.
Nice hardware, but severely compromised by a clumsy and ill conceived web interface/dependancy
by kthacher on December 10, 2005
Pros: Activity mode works very well. State aware design is a good idea.
Cons: The web interface is brutally cumbersome and slow. Charger is finicky
Summary: I bought this remote to simplify the control of a Samsung DLP, PVR satellite receiver, Yamaha Digital Sound Projector, and a Pioneer DVD player. The good news is that it ...
Summary: I bought this remote to simplify the control of a Samsung DLP, PVR satellite receiver, Yamaha Digital Sound Projector, and a Pioneer DVD player. The good news is that it is functional now, and the activity mode allows anyone to easily control the system. Since the remote inherently knows the state of the components, it is easy to move from one activity to the other.
My main problem with this product is that you are forced to use the Logitech web site to make every configuration change to the remote. If you want to learn one new command, re-map a single button, or anything else you cannot do it unless you are connected to the Logitech web site. The site is brutally slow and awkward to use. Changes that should take five minutes end up taking half an hour or more.
Here is the procedure that I had to do just to map a single key from the Pioneer DVD remote to the Harmony. You log onto the web site, and the first thing that happens usually is that the browser complains. Quick workaround and you are in. Then you select a button related to making the change. This takes you to your database that loads up your configuration. This page is painfully slow to load. If your database is big enough to force scrolling - be prepared - scrolling is painfully slow too. You make the change and then the whole page has to re-load again - slowly. When you are done, then the web site can be told to update the Harmony.
This is nothing compared to the learning of new commands. The Logitech database was incomplete for the Yamaha component, so off I go to the learn function. The same sluggish database loads, up and you have to inch to the bottom of the page, where there are some options presented to learn a new command. You invoke it and a file download happens. Maybe 30 seconds later you get this little app up and it tells you to press a key. This assumes that your security system lets the file through. The little app goes away, and you go back to the database. For every new key you have to download another one of those files. Then if the table is filled up the real fun begins. You tell the interface that you want to add more - and then after a slow refresh of the page, you have the opportunity to add one more learned key. You can't tell it you want more than one, so you have to repeat this for every new learned key. I have a fast DSL connection but the combination of page refreshes, slow scrolling, and downloading these files slows the process to a complete crawl.
During setup, I found that the database did not have an accurate list of the inputs on my Yamaha component. Logitech takes you through a procedure to add a new input. I followed that procedure and go back the the starting point and the new input is no where to be found. I eventually gave up, kept going and found out later that the new input really was there, but the "wizard" (sorry Gandalf for the use of that word) did not display this new information.
Here is a skill testing question on this interface - make a typo on the name of one of your components during the initial setup wizard and try to fix the error. I dare you.
To wrap things up, it is very easy for the Harmony to not recognize when it is put in the cradle. You have to fidgit around to make sure it is actually charging.
I have e-mailed Harmony support about allowing some local operation and they initially said no. I then asked about being able to download just your own components and run locally. Support said it was a good idea and will ask engineering about it. However, they also said there is no way to make their web site faster. Too bad - this would be a 9 or 10 star remote without the boat anchor of a web interface dragging it down.
7 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
remotes can be this cool???!!!
by kawibby on May 27, 2005
Pros: color display, works perfectly, internet setup is a breeze, helpful with almost every problem, could not ask for much more
Cons: no user set macros or timer, graphics could be better, no tv listings available on remote as of yet
Summary: this is the most proficient and easy to use remote control i have ever seen. the web based set up is not that difficult and helps you customize in an ...
Summary: this is the most proficient and easy to use remote control i have ever seen. the web based set up is not that difficult and helps you customize in an easy way. the remote is sleek and cool and fun to mess around with. so far i have set up my slideshow with personal pics and customized many other features. this is the best universal remote to date. buy this now it is worth the money
6 out of 7 users found this user opinion helpful.
Awsome, would recommend for ANY home theater.
by Cjaiceman on August 12, 2006
Pros: Color LCD screen, rechargable battery
Cons: button layout
Summary: Ok, I got the Harmony 880 looking for a good remote on a reasonable price. I found it, After playing around with Sony's huge remote and other universals this ...
Summary: Ok, I got the Harmony 880 looking for a good remote on a reasonable price. I found it, After playing around with Sony's huge remote and other universals this one just seems to fit nicely. Easy to program, easy to use and it just works. The button layout is a little strange, but I got used to it. The buttons are all back lit, and the LCD is very easy to read.
The programming part leaves room for improvement, but is pretty easy to navigate (although I have heard otherwise from several other posts). The nice thing though about the programming is Logitech has the codes on their site, so no more holding the original remote in front (or in this case behind) the harmony and pressing every button.
Good product for ANY home theater.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
convenient, but with some flaws
by mehes on March 27, 2006
Pros: don't have to press fifteen buttons to watch TV or play a DVD
Cons: slight delay, button feel, price
Summary: I bought this remote so that I wouldn't have to press through multiple buttons every time I wanted to watch TV, etc. For that, it's great. I press ...
Summary: I bought this remote so that I wouldn't have to press through multiple buttons every time I wanted to watch TV, etc. For that, it's great. I press one button and my TV, cable box and my receiver all turn on at once. Same deal for playing a DVD. I thought the web setup was straightforward and easy.
My complaint lies with the delay between when I press a button and when my DVR responds. For most functions, this doesn't matter. But for fastforwarding, it's a real pain, because it always goes 3 seconds past when I actually press the button, so I need to rewind every time to get things right. I know this sounds like it's not a huge deal, but trust me it's annoying.
A more minor complaint lies with the size and feel of the buttons. Big, cushy buttons would be better than these small flat ones.
Overall, I would say that the remote is pretty good, but I'm only ambivalent about having purchased it. It definitely seemed cool when I read the CNET review, but you can buy a lot for $150.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Would be great - if it worked
by damionsammarco on December 19, 2005
Pros: very flexible, easy to use, etc
Cons: Had two, both broke out of box. Gets confused on how to adjust volume (which component).
Summary: I bought one of these from Best Buy when they first came out (summer). Out of the box the battery was dead and would not charge. Harmony stood by it ...
Summary: I bought one of these from Best Buy when they first came out (summer). Out of the box the battery was dead and would not charge. Harmony stood by it and sent me another one. It had the same problem and died within a week. Really unfortunate as this is a wonderful remote (when it works). I suspect the batteries are bad. Hopefully they'll send me a new one. For almost $300 bucks (with tax), they'd better.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
You pay for what you get.
by GElk on June 23, 2005
Pros: Cheaper than other models and does a lot.
Cons: Failed on me only after 14 days, made of cheap materials.
Summary: The Harmony 880 software took a long time to setup on my computer and I am very computer proficient. The software was buggy for initial installation, but once I was ...
Summary: The Harmony 880 software took a long time to setup on my computer and I am very computer proficient. The software was buggy for initial installation, but once I was able to install it, I was able to program every single piece of equipment that I had into the remote. I cannot stress enough how much of a problem the program was to install, many people would need to call technical support to get started, I figured out the problem to be some kind of XP pro conflict, and I am sure everyone is having similar problems. Again, it was a very problematic installation of software; afterwards selection of components was simple, just time consuming.
At first glance the remote control looks very good and has a nice crisp color display that can even be customized to show your own pictures. Nothing even comes close in the same price range. The functionality, when working, is all you might need in a remote. I have a very large entertainment center/theater, and have many components to operate.
Buttons can be customized and every component can be controlled. The controller has problems remembering everything, pressing the help button happens every-day and answering to yes this solved the problem or no button is a bit frustrating after so many times. Ideally, it would have been nice to program the remote with all components and not need to keep on pressing help so that the remote turned off my TV or switched to DVD properly without using the help button.
The controller itself is constructed very cheaply. I have the biggest Sony LCD on the marketplace and it would have been nicer if the controller was metallic, or the buttons were made with something much stronger than the plastic used. I feel that the buttons would break over a long period of use.
I waited a long time for the Harmony 880 to arrive at my local store and I checked all my local stores, it came out about 1 month later than they stated on their website. I bought it the first day it was available at stores. Exactly 14 days later, the morning of the 14th day, the remote died. I contacted their tech support and they emailed me and started asking me silly questions like does it beep or not when placed on docking station. I had accurately described to them what was going on, and noticed that they had no idea what was going on, or that they knew that they had sold me a faulty product.
I never dropped or did anything improper to the remote. After normal use it was always placed back on its docking station. The docking station was always connected to a Pure AV surge protector and backup system that cost me somewhere around 700 dollars.
I was happy with my remote until it failed to work at all. I doubt my battery died after such a short time of use. It made things simple in my theater, because whenever there was a problem one simply needed to press help and yes or no to solve the problem, and eventually the problem would be resolved. Again, help was a button I pressed a lot and so was yes or no. The design of the yes or no buttons could have been better designed. The numeric keys again, were very poorly manufactured and were constructed of a very cheap plastic.
I returned to the store that day and asked technicians to look at it in attempt to figure out what was going on with it. They did and said it was also sold out and on backorder. It wasn't the battery and that I was the first to return it.
I really wanted a replacement; it really did make things much easier. Now, I am stuck with four stupid remotes to watch my TV or DVDs and HDTV.
Logitech emailed me with a pre-order offer, but I was not interested in paying them the extra shipping costs and waiting another month for it to arrive and fail on me two weeks later. I did see it available today. I will contact them again and see what they can do for me, but I am skeptical that they will do anything! I had previously contacted their sales team when it was available for pre-order and they were not helpful at all, nor were they willing to offer me anything or do anything! "Sorry" was their answer.
I am looking for a remote control that will do everything the harmony 880 should be able to do, with the same color display, or better. It looks like I might need to spend more than $250 on a remote, because Logitech is surprisingly not provide the appropriate solution.Updated
I can't seem to add to my previous review, this is just a test. I will post additional post if this works.
11 out of 22 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best Remote Ever!
by enniszd on May 30, 2005
Pros: Web configuration - which means never out of date & No more tech support calls from family and friends on how to work the Home Theater system
Cons: Macros are not extensive enough & No touch screen
Summary: This has to be the best remote ever created for Home Theater Systems. I have been using a home theater remote (Home Theater Master SL-9000) for the last 4 years ...
Summary: This has to be the best remote ever created for Home Theater Systems. I have been using a home theater remote (Home Theater Master SL-9000) for the last 4 years and every time I add a new piece of equipment I would have to teach the remote. It also did not handle page up/down. Most people could not figure out the buttons and so on.
I have had the 880 for 3 days now and even my 5 year old son can turn everything on and off. I have Dish network with DVR, a Hitachi HDTV, a Denon AV-3802, Mitsubishi VCR, and Sony DVD/CD player - The Harmony site configured everything.
Configuration is easy you just go to their web site put all you stuff in and it configures the activites for you. Very simple (The only recommendation is that you must know which input your compenents plug into for your TV)
I also had to teach it a couple of steps and they were very easy to configure.
My only two issues are that you cannot configure the Macros to go beyond turn on and off stuff - No ability to have it also start your favorite channel.
Also the screen is not a touch screen which means no ability to put the buttons in the order you want them to appear.
Overall the best remote I have ever had!
4 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Tempremental. Fragile. Good idea, bad execution.
by Ziller on October 27, 2005
Pros: Relatively easy to program.
Cons: Doesn't deliver. Often reboots. Poor battery life. Problems with charging base station.
Summary: I was so psyched to get this device and it was an incredible disappointment. I had my first one replaced because the connection with the base station was not reliable. ...
Summary: I was so psyched to get this device and it was an incredible disappointment. I had my first one replaced because the connection with the base station was not reliable. I'd frequently show up and find the remote with a dead battery. I tried rubber bands and tilting the device just so, but it didn't work. The new base station provided a more reliable connection, but the device continued to drive me crazy. Any sudden movement of the device (like sitting down on the couch next to it) will cause the thing to reboot. This takes a couple of minutes and will leave the device thinking that all your components are powered down. You'll then need to go through an easy to follow series of questions to get it 'reoriented'. The device also tends to reboot when you pick it up off the charging stand. I'm waiting for my 2nd replacement. Maybe I just got a lemon. Maybe this thing just sucks.
Also there's the color LCD screen. Looks great and gives the impression of being a touch screen, but it's not. The buttons are small and narrow and can be difficult to line up precisely with what's on the screen.
In terms of programming, it's better than other universal remotes I've used. I love the idea of programming the device simply by finding your components on a pull down menue. The problem is that more often than not the device doesnt' give the right set of signals and I tend to find that I need to go through the easy to follow troubleshooting algorithm to correct the problem.
I look forward to their next effort. One day all remotes will be programmed this way. One day Harmony will make one that is reliable and is worth the money.
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great shot, so close to hitting the mark but ....
by dvd_max on August 22, 2005
Pros: Lithium-ion battery w/charger
Cons: backlight in blue (visual distortion!) No TV guide!
Summary: Coming from the Harmony 659, I can honestly say that I "almost" regret upgrading to the 880. Almost because the 659 ate a fresh set of batteries every 3 weeks..., ...
Summary: Coming from the Harmony 659, I can honestly say that I "almost" regret upgrading to the 880. Almost because the 659 ate a fresh set of batteries every 3 weeks..., and the 880 is rechargeable. Is it worth an extra $100+ dollars for a Lith-ion battery, charger and color screen? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, the 880 is by far the best remote I have yet to buy. But it’s got it’s problems…
First thing that bugs me is the backlight. It’s a bright blue light that you can not read in a darkened room, due to the blue light distortion. Unless you study the keyboard and memorize it before hand, I guarantee you will be turning the lights on to read some of the buttons.
Second is the tiny (thin) rocker buttons for channel and volume up and down. It has a spongy feel, and channel up doesn’t always work on mine. Probably will be reworked after they get a few complaints.
The worst problem it has (and I am biased coming from the 659) is there is NO downloadable TV listings!!! This is a huge mistake. Instead, you get to put some cutesy, yet tiny graphics on the media screen for your favorite channels if you choose to add them. I’ll take program content over cute graphics any day of the week. Not all TV’s have built in TV guides. Mine cost $7K and it doesn’t. The built in guide on my old 659 has me questioning if I will be putting the 880 on eBay soon...Updated
O.K. Now that I've had it for a month, here is what "really" bothers me.
1. The small backlight keys are TOTALLY UNREADABLE in the dark. You have to memorize the locations, or you will be turning on a light to read them. Blue is the DUMBEST color choice they could have used. Clue: Sun glasses are blue blockers for a reason folks.. It distorts your vision...
2. The location of the buttons around the screen makes the screen unreadable if you have to hit two or three buttons in sequence. I have commercial skip, PIP and CC on the screen in the TV menu and find myself picking up the old tv remote becuase it's simpler.
3. Instead of putting forward and reverse next to play, they choose to put chapter skip. Everytime I want to rewind a dvd a few seconds, yup, it jumps back a chapter. Argh. Dumb layout.
4. Pause is on the bottom left, Play is on the top right. Who the heck thought this was a good idea? Let's just change the standard order of 95% of all remotes.. Jeesh...
EBAY, here I come....
5 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
The perfect universal remote
by SebGood on July 31, 2005
Pros: Nice color display, amazing online database of IR commands, no need to do any learning
Cons: It doesn't have RF
Summary: This remote has exceeded my expectations in every way possible. It knows how to control my new plasma TV, Bose Stereo, HDTV Receiver, and remote control lighting dimmer without having ...
Summary: This remote has exceeded my expectations in every way possible. It knows how to control my new plasma TV, Bose Stereo, HDTV Receiver, and remote control lighting dimmer without having to go through any learning procedures! It works perfectly.
Go out and buy a cheap ($40) Lutron IR controllable dimmer switch and control your lights as well! I'm still looking for a non-dimming IR switch so I can put my fireplace on the remote too. If you know of one, please let me know!
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Logitech
- Part number: 966187-0403
- Description: The Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote puts you in control of your entire audio-video system with just one button. It's home entertainment the way it should be - simple. Optimized for complicated HDTV and PVR systems, the Harmony 880 helps you tame tough configurations like switching your television between video aspect ratios depending on the program source. The interactive color display lets you quickly choose a 16: 9 ratio for movies and HDTV, or a standard 4: 3 ratio for basic television programming.
- Remote type Universal remote control
- Remote control technology Infrared
- Features LCD display ,
Multi-brand compatibility ,
LCD backlight ,
Glow buttons ,
- Supported devices Audio/video components ,
VCR, DVD, satellite receiver ,
Home control ,
Audio system ,
- Input device Joystick
- Display LCD display
- Color display Yes
- Type 1 x USB
- Operating System MS Windows 2000,
MS Windows XP,
MS Windows 98,
MS Windows ME,
Apple Mac OS X
- Included Accessories Power adapter,
Remote control charging stand
- Cables Included 1 x USB cable - External
- Battery 1 x Remote control unit battery - Rechargeable - Lithium ion
- Service & Support 1 year warranty
- Service & Support Details Limited warranty - 1 year